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Missouri regulators vote to close President Casino

February 1, 2010

ST. LOUIS - Missouri gambling regulators voted 4-0 last week to revoke the license of the aging river boat casino, which they feel has intentionally slowed its gambling operation with a resulting drop in state revenue. The casino is scheduled to close by July 1, but the owners can request a hearing to appeal the decision.

"There is a pattern of deliberately putting the President Casino in decline," said Commission Chairman James Mathewson.

The Commission found the casino has removed slot machines, game tables, food services and staff which have resulted in a 48 percent decline in revenues since 2006 when Pinnacle bought the casino.

"That casino can generate more and should generate more," said Commission Executive Director Gene McNary.

A spokesperson for Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., Pauline Yoshihashi, told the Associated Press, "We are shocked and completely dismayed by the commission's actions. We've put forth viable plans to either repair or replace the vessel, we've dealt with them in good faith."

Yoshihashi said Pinnacle has paid millions in state and local tax revenues and has created thousands of jobs. She said the casino's decline is due to the economy.

St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay has sent a letter to the gaming commission requesting they reconsider their decision and allow the casino to stay open.

Return to Missouri Casinos.

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